Tags: Ben Carson | Mitt Romney | Newt Gingrich | Gingrich | Carson | HUD | Romney

Gingrich: Carson 'Tremendous' Pick; I Haven't 'Mellowed' on Romney

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 11:55 AM

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is a "tremendous" choice to head Housing and Urban Development, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday, but he still doesn't want President-elect Donald Trump to pick Mitt Romney as his secretary of State.

"I haven't mellowed on Mitt Romney at all," Gingrich told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "If I'm asked, my advice would be don't pick him."

Gingrich said he is impressed with the "calm, steady, disciplined approach" that Trump has taken while picking who will head the State Department, as he hasn't just rushed in and picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and he hasn't pivoted in the opposite direction to pick Romney.

"He's been very methodical and my position is I want to support the person that President-elect Trump selects," said Gingrich. "If he decides after several long meetings with Romney, if he decides that Romney will be his secretary of State and not go off freelancing, then I want to take the president-elect's judgment."

It took Trump over two weeks to convince Carson to take a Cabinet post, as he "really wanted Ben in the Cabinet, and I think that he's being very methodical. I think if he were certain in his gut who the right secretary of State is, they would announce it this morning. He's clearly not certain."

Meanwhile, Gingrich said, Carson is a remarkably smart guy," and a world class pediatric neurosurgeon who "has dedicated his entire life to helping other people."

If HUD is properly led, as it was by former Secretary Jack Kemp, it could play a large role in helping the nation's inner cities, said Gingrich.

"I think that Dr. Carson's own personal life, his rise from Detroit to being a world leader in his field, gives him an opportunity to have moral authority, and I think he could really play a significant role in improving the lives of inner city African-Americans in particular because he's such a great role model," said Gingrich.

Over the weekend, Trump expanded the number of people under consideration for the secretary of State slot, and Gingrich said that's because he's been willing to look at several very different people.

"He has taken a lot of time to sit down and try to get to know Mitt Romney better, which I think, given how far apart they were, was probably the right thing to do, but I think he's not satisfied that he has found the right chemistry, the right person," said Gingrich.

"In an ideal world, you want a secretary of State who thoroughly understands the president and who is the president's agent around the world. "

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Monday, 05 Dec 2016 11:55 AM
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